Need More Cowbell?

Stealth is often an essential component to a successful fishing trip, especially on a boat.  When we think we are near the fish, we shut off the gas motor, lower the electric trolling motor, and speak in hushed tones. I have even read where professional bass fishermen may keep their electric trolling motor on because they believe turning it off and on, alerts fish more than a steady, constant hum.  I recall how a rattling crank bait lure, still 20 feet away and submerged six feet deep, sounded like a rattlesnake under the seat of an aluminum V-hull river boat which acted like a loudspeaker. Therefore, dropping long-nosed pliers on the bottom of my little jonboat can’t be helping things.

However, not ALL noise is bad.

Some noises actually can draw the interest of hungry fish.  Keith Sutton wrote in his book, “Out There Fishing” that piranhas are attracted to splashing, “like iron filings to a magnet.” I have read where anglers on lakes in Mexico also splash the water with their hands to fire up bass. On an episode of “Hookin’ Up with Mariko Izumi,” a chartered captain thumped a pool cue on the bottom hull of his boat to bring up large striped bass from the depths.

Now, I’m reading about this Hydro Wave device, used by Bassmaster Elite Pros Kevin VanDam and Jeff Kriet.  According to the website information, a setting such as “bait panic” can be like ringing a “dinner bell.” (How about a trolling motor that also makes the sound of fleeing shad?)  I have yet to try this gadget but know, for example, if you catch enough splashing, frenetic bluegill in one spot, eventually a large bass or pike will come over to investigate.

I look forward to discovering if the fish-attracting power of this device is enough to overcome kids clunking around in a boat, accidentally dumping tackle boxes, and squabbling over the last bag of Cheetos.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.